On October 9, 2014, the European Commission adopted and reviewed the Recommendation on relevant product and services markets.
Under the Recommendation, the EC decided to cut two telecommunication regulated markets: i) the retail market for access to fixed telephony; and?ii) the wholesale market for fixed call origination.
The EC decided to liberate thefixed telecoms markets becausethere has been a decrease in volume of fixed calls. In the last years, customers have turned to alternative solutions, such as voice-over-IP (VoIP) and mobile calls, but also to alternative providers, like over-the-top (OTT) players.
For the EC, the competition has increased in these markets, because those customers who still use fixed telephony are now able to purchase fixed access from a number of different platforms, such as traditional telephone network, fibre or cable networks, and also from alternative operators offering broadband and voice services over unbundled local loops, so competition has been increased
In addition, the Recommendation redefines the boundaries of the broadband markets, which consist of wholesale products needed for the provision of retail broadband services (new markets 3a, 3b and 4 replacing markets 4, 5 and 6 of the 2007 Recommendation).
The new rules recognize that “virtual access products” can be considered substitutes to physical unbundling when they fulfil certain characteristics.